Obama: Sandy's damage 'heartbreaking for the nation'
President makes remarks at Red Cross National Headquarters
- Duration 9:43
- Date Oct 30, 2012
President makes remarks at Red Cross National Headquarters
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Fox News alert President Obama speaking at the Red Cross headquarters we want to get right to him now.
America but obviously -- -- is doing outstanding work and -- so we want to thank them for their outstanding work.
A few things I want to emphasize to the public.
At the top -- this storm is not at all.
We've gotten briefings from the National Hurricane Center it is still moving north there are still communities that could be affected.
And so I want to emphasize there's still risks of flooding there are still risks of downed power lines risks of high winds and so it is very important.
For the public to continue to monitor the situation into -- local community listen to your state and local officials.
More you follow instructions the easier it is.
For -- first responders to make sure that they're dealing with rumored to situations so better prepared.
Individual families or or the situation.
These -- it is going to be for us to deal with.
Next obviously I want to talk about.
Hardship that -- see over the last 48 hours.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who lost loved ones unfortunately there have -- fatalities.
As a consequence of -- -- And it's not clear that we've.
Counted up all fatalities at this point.
And obviously it's something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation and we certainly.
Profoundly for all the families whose lives have been up and and we're going to be going through some very tough times over the next several days and perhaps several weeks and months.
The most important message I have -- them if that America's where it.
We are standing behind you and we are going to do everything we can't to help you get back on your feet.
Earlier today I had a conversation with governors and many of the mayors in the affected -- -- Including.
Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg.
I -- praise them for extraordinary work that they have done.
You know sadly.
We are getting more experience.
-- these kinds.
Big impact storms.
Along the East Coast and the preparation -- Were -- not for the outstanding work that they other teams.
Have already done and will continue to do in the affected regions.
We -- seen more deaths and more -- there.
So may have done extraordinary work.
Working around clock coordination between the state local and federal governments has been outstanding.
Obviously we're now moving into the recovery -- in a lot of most severely affected areas.
New Jersey New York in particular have been hounded by the storm Connecticut.
Has taken a big hit.
Some of the workers have been done ahead of time.
We've been able to get over thousand -- Officials in place pre position we've been able to get supplies food medicine.
Emergency generators to ensure that hospitals.
And law enforcement officers are able to stay up and running as they are out there responding.
We are gonna continue to push as hard as we can't.
To make sure that power -- up throughout the region and obviously this is mostly local responsibility.
And -- utilities.
Have to lean forward but we are doing everything we can't provide them additional resources.
So that we can expedite.
Getting power and money.
In many of these communities are places like Newark, New Jersey for example where you've got 89%.
Of people without power.
We can't have a situation where that lasts for days on end and so my instructions to the federal agency has been.
It's figure out why we can't do something I want to figure out how we do so.
I want -- cut through that -- I want to cut through bureaucracy.
There's no excuse for -- at this point I want every agency to lean forward and make sure that we are getting the resources.
Where they need.
Where they're needed as quickly as possible.
So while I want to repeat my message to the federal government.
No red tape.
Get resources where they're needed as fast as possible as hard as possible.
And for the duration.
Because -- recovery process obviously in place like New Jersey is gonna take a significant amount of time.
The recovery process in the -- man hat.
Is going to take a lot of time.
And part of what we're trying to do here it's also to see where some resource -- can be brought to bear the maybe traditionally are not used these kind of disaster.
Situations for example there maybe military assets that allow us to help move.
Equipment to insure that pumping and getting the flooding.
Out of New York subway systems could move.
Can -- more quickly.
Resources that we can bring to bear to help.
Some of the private utilities get their personnel and their equipment in place more swiftly so that we can get power running.
As soon as possible.
So my message to the governors and the mayor's.
And through them to the communities that have been hit so hard.
Is that we are gonna do everything we can't.
Get resources to you and make sure that.
Any unmet need that I is identified.
You're responding to it as quickly as possible I told the mayors in the -- If they're getting no for an answer somewhere in the federal government.
They can call me personally.
At the White House.
You know that this state local federal response is important.
But what we do as a community.
What we do.
As neighbors and his fellow citizens is equally important so a couple of things that I want the public to know they can do first of all because.
Don't our local law enforcement or first responders -- big -- To the extent that everybody can be out there looking out for their neighbors.
Especially older folks I think that's really important you know if you got it.
A neighbor nearby you're not sure how they're handling a power outage.
I go over there's of them knock on the door and make sure that they're -- okay back and make a big difference.
The public can be the eyes and ears in terms of identifying.
Unmet needs -- but the reason we're here is because the Red Cross knows what it's doing when it comes to.
Emergency response and so for people all across the country who have not been affected.
Now's the time to.
Show the kind of generosity of it.
Makes America the greatest nation on earth and a good place to express their generosity by contributing to right cross.
Obviously you go on the web site.
Red Cross knows what they're going they're close contact with federal state and local officials they won't make sure that we get the resources to.
Of those families as swiftly as possible and again I want to thank everybody here who's doing such a great job.
When it comes to.
But that disaster response.
The final message I just would say it's.
You know during the the darkness of the storm I think we also saw what's brightest.
Yeah I think all of us obviously -- Shot by.
The force of mother nature as we watched on television at same time we've also seen.
Nurses -- it.
-- fragile newborns.
Incredibly brave firefighters.
In Queens waist deep in water.
Battling -- for most.
Rescuing people in boats.
When my favorite stories about North Carolina.
Coast Guard going out to save the sinking ship basin -- -- out.
Whether the rescue swimmer so I'm -- I understand.
You guys need -- ride.
You know that kind of spirit of resilience.
But most importantly looking out for one another.
That's why we always bounced back from these kinds of disasters.
There's a tough time for a lot of people millions of folks all across eastern seaboard.
America's top and we're tougher because we pull together we leave nobody behind.
We make sure that.
As as a nation.
And remind ourselves that.
Whenever an American is indeed.
All of us stand together to make sure that we're providing the help that's necessary so I just want to thank.
An incredible the response we've already seen but I do want to remind people this is gonna take.
The skeptics -- -- It is not going to be easy for a lot of these communities to recover swiftly.
And so it's going to be important that we sustain.
That spirit of resilience.
That we continue to be good neighbors.
For the duration until everybody's back on the PR.
Thank you very much are right thank you request.